Great Blakenham: Archaeological work set to start at SnOasis site

GREAT BLAKENHAM: Members of the SnOasis Planning Committee are to meet tomorrow to approve plans for archaeological work to start on the site.

The move would be another hurdle cleared for the developers who have been working on the scheme for nearly a decade.

The committee, which is to meet at Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market from 2.30pm, will also be asked to approve plans to phase the work at the Great Blakenham site.

The ambitious winter sports and leisure complex was given planning permission in 2008, subject to more than 30 conditions set out by the secretary of state, and this is the next step for developers Onslow Suffolk as they bid to begin work before the end of the year.

The approval would allow archaeologists to get on the site and carry out assessments and excavation work that would go some way to clearing the path for construction work to begin, subject to further conditions being met.

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Peter Goodyear, the SnOasis planning project officers, said: “This is a relatively small part because only two of the 31 conditions are covered – the phasing of the development and the archaeological requirement.

“It’s only these things that the applicant seeks approval for. It would enable the archeological work to start but no other work.

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“They are required to do the work before the development may proceed. It ticks off a few of the many things that need to be satisfied.”

The original 2008 decision is set to be superseded after a near identical planning application was approved by the council and given the green light by the secretary of state last year.

The update still needs to have a 106 agreement rubber-stamped but would allow Godfrey Spanner, who owns Onslow Suffolk, five more years to begin construction.

He aims to begin the 30-month project later this year, with the ski slope facility the first element to be built, and complete the complex by late 2014.

The first work at the site would ecological and would involve the movement of newts from their habitats into newly-built ponds on another part of the former cement works site.

n What do you think of the plan for SnOasis? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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